Two years after the release of Daniel Pauly: Un Océan de Combats, the English version of the biography of the Sea Around Us principal investigator is now available in bookstores.
Titled The Ocean’s Whistleblower: The Remarkable Life and Work of Daniel Pauly, the 342-page tome goes over Dr. Pauly’s scientific career as the whistleblower who alerted the public about the devastation caused to marine ecosystems by the global fishing industry.
From the formulation of the “shifting baselines syndrome,” in which knowledge of environmental disaster fades over time, leading to a misguided understanding of our planet, to creating data-driven research methods that led to groundbreaking discoveries around the world, Dr. Pauly’s contributions to science are laid out in captivating prose that nonetheless underscores the key developments that led him to become a living legend in the world of marine biology.
The Ocean’s Whistleblower also presents Dr. Daniel Pauly as a man whose life was shaped by struggle. Born after the Second World War to a white French woman and Black American GI in Paris, his childhood is often described as Dickensian. His father left before he was born and his mother, whose family did not accept her and her mixed-race son, fell prey to a manipulative Swiss couple who abducted Pauly. He was taken to Switzerland, where he was treated cruelly as the couple’s servant.
Pauly escaped to Germany to attend university and, as a young man, travelled to the United States during the 1969 civil rights movement, where he met his father’s family and experienced a political and racial reawakening. From there, he went on to have one of the most decorated careers in the field of marine biology.
The Ocean’s Whistleblower “weaves together the challenges of marine research with an astonishing coming-of-age story” (Andrew Sharpless, Oceana) and is told through interviews with colleagues, friends, family, and Pauly himself.
David Grémillet, an oceanographer and research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) who spent two years doing interviews over four continents, is the author of the book. Grémillet has authored numerous scientific publications, this being his first book. He lives in France.